Company & Commercial

The Firm throughout its history has played a pivotal role in aiding and assisting Government agencies in developing policies and regulations for the attraction of foreign investment in Cyprus.  The Firm is well placed to provide complete advice across all practice areas of business and commerce, and advise its international client base on all legal, regulatory and tax aspects of investing and establishing operations in Cyprus.

The Firm has a large corporate, tax and commercial department.  It deals with a full range of complex company and corporate matters and provides integrated solutions for its clients, which are some of the largest public companies on the island, as well as many large multinational groups operating in or out of Cyprus.

The department has been providing comprehensive and sophisticated tax advice to the Firms local and foreign clients for over 70 years, and its tax unit is a pioneer in this field. It includes qualified accountants who assist the units lawyers to provide the Firms large corporate and high net worth individuals with quality tax advice and planning solutions. The unit has substantial experience in the creation and implementation of complex and efficient tax structures, and trusts.

The department also possesses one of the largest units on the island for registering companies both in Cyprus and in other jurisdictions, has a  dedicated and specialist EU, Competition and Regulatory unit that has acknowledged experience and expertise in a whole range of EU competition matters, and maintains a Russian speaking specialist team, which  assists its Russian  speaking  clients.

Within the area of information technology, the department has wide experience and expertise in all aspects of information technology, communications, broadcasting, e-commerce and internet law. The client base of the Firm includes telecoms operators in Cyprus and overseas.  In addition, the Firm acts for a large number of manufacturers and suppliers of computer software and hardware and telecommunications equipment, as well as internet service providers and internet based entities.

The department prides itself on its ability to provide prompt and high quality services to its clients  commensurate  to their business needs.

The Corporate, Tax and Commercial department is sub-divided into a number of specialized units  whose principal areas of work are the following:

Practice Areas

Airlines, Airports and Regulatory

The unit advises on a broad range of regulatory, commercial and competition matters for licensed airlines (domestic and international),  and for owners of aircraft in respect of purchase, registration, financing and leasing arrangements.  The unit also provides advice to and acts for financiers in matters of leasing and financing of aircraft.

Banking & Finance

We have an exceptional track record in assisting clients in all aspects of finance work and guiding them through the industry’s ever-changing legal landscape. Our specialist banking lawyers are able to advise on the structuring, documentation and negotiation of all aspects of transactional work (including the taking and enforcement of security and the regulation of financial services).

The work undertaken by our Banking & Finance practice includes:

Acquisition Finance

We advise major banks and other debt providers, as well as corporate borrowers and private equity investors in the structuring and documentation of leveraged buyouts, public-to-privates, bid financing, investment grade financing and other acquisition-related financing transactions.

Asset Finance

We advise clients on the acquisition, finance, leasing, maintenance and sale of a range of asset types, including aircraft, manufacturing equipment and ships. Our Asset Finance practice is characterised by high value complex transactions, often with cross-border input and several layers of financing and legal structures.

Click here for details of our Ship Finance practice.

Corporate Restructuring and Insolvency

We advise financial institutions and other creditors, insolvency practitioners, company directors and shareholders on strategies for corporate recovery and all aspects of insolvency procedures, as well as pre-insolvency considerations on such matters as wrongful trading and directors’ duties.

Our contentious insolvency team advises on the duties and responsibilities of the insolvency practitioner in the circumstances of litigation and on all forms of court application, sanctions, directions and the overturning of transactions.

Click here for details of our Contentious Insolvency practice.

General Banking

We advise clients on general finance advice for corporate lending (both bilateral and syndicated), refinancing, subordination and inter-creditor issues, guarantees, indemnities and performance bonds, lease, contract hire, conditional sale and hire purchase facilities, security issues and other general banking matters.

Project Finance

We advise banks, financial institutions and funds, export credit agencies, multi-laterals, corporates, government agencies and sovereign states on the procurement, structuring, risk management and documentation for a range of infrastructure projects covering the following main sectors:

  • transport infrastructure, including ports, airports, roads and road management
  • water networks and desalination
  • oil and gas, upstream and downstream
  • power, including renewable
  • waste, waste-to-energy and waste management
  • education and health

Property Finance

We advise banks, other financial institutions and corporate borrowers on the financing or refinancing of the acquisition, investment or development of real property assets, the transfer of large property portfolios and other property-related structured financing transactions.

Trade Finance

We advise on factoring and invoice discounting in connection with general working capital facilities or other more complex acquisition structures. We also advise on documentary letters of credits, standby letters of credit, performance bonds and on all aspects of international trade finance.

Capital Markets & Financial Services

The unit  offers advice on the regulatory and compliance requirements for credit institutions, investment firms and intermediaries operating in and through Cyprus, including advice on the formation and licensing of Cyprus Investments Firms (CIF’s).

The unit has also acted as legal counsel to the issuers and to lead managers and arrangers in connection with the issue of bonds, notes and other securities by domestic and overseas banks which have been listed on recognized Stock Exchanges, including  acting in numerous public listings in Cyprus and on other recognized stock exchanges.

Company Formation & Administration

The unit registers companies in Cyprus and foreign jurisdictions.  The unit, through the Firms specialized management service company, offers corporate management and administration services in respect of such companies.  The unit is sufficiently manned by experienced lawyers, accountants and professional support staff which allows all corporate management and administration needs to be taken care of.

Construction

The unit has substantial experience and expertise in dealing with all areas of construction law practice, both contentious and non-contentious and advises a large number of construction companies both local and overseas, which engage in construction activity in Cyprus.  At the same time the unit acts and/or advises employers in connection with the engagement of and the completion of projects.

Corporate & Commercial

The unit provides advice and complete and integrated solutions to its entire client base (in Cyprus and abroad) on a wide range of complex corporate and commercial matters.

Employment

The unit provides Employment Law advice to both local and multinational companies operating in Cyprus ranging from the drafting of employment contracts, to the procedures and practices to be followed in the termination of employment or redundancies.

EU Competition & Regulatory

Our Competition and EU team is probably the market leading practice in Cyprus covering all aspects of European Union (EU) Law and Cyprus & EU Competition Law. The team includes expert lawyers, some of whom have previously worked as advisors and officials for both the Cyprus Commission for the Protection of Competition and DG Competition and other EU Commission departments.

We advise and assist both local and international clients on all aspects of national and EU Competition Law, including the following:

  • preparing and handling Merger Control notifications before the Cypriot Commission for the Protection of Competition ( CPC ) and the European Commission
  • advising and defending businesses on all aspects of anti-competitive behavior investigations by Cypriot and European regulators, such as restrictive agreements, cartel investigations and abuse of dominance
  • providing advice in order to ensure effective compliance with national and European Competition rules or other sectorial regulations
  • preparation and follow up of complaints before the EU and national authorities for potential violations of EU and Competition Law
  • representations before the competition authorities in Cyprus
  • advice and assistance with state aid matters and complaints
  • representation before the competition authorities in Cyprus (for both complainants and investigated entities)
  • competition litigation before the Cypriot or European Courts

Our team also advises in selected aspects of EU law including:

  • advice and briefing of clients on EU law developments
  • advice on EU and national public procurement matters and recourse
  • Internal market issues
  • Consumer protections laws
  • Protection and exploitation of trade marks
  • Representation before the EU institutions (including in relation to infringement proceedings)

Naturalisation/Immigration

The unit handles the naturalisation of investors in Cyprus, and the obtaining of Cyprus passports.

The unit handles all immigration issues in Cyprus including the obtaining of all necessary licenses and work permits.

Insolvency and corporate recovery

The unit advises in insolvencies, liquidations and restructuring of businesses either alone, or in co-operation with insolvency practices and accounting firms.

Investment Funds

The unit advises banks, investment houses, pension funds, insurance funds, managers and custodians on the establishment, licensing, operation and continuing compliance for funds in Cyprus.

In addition, the unit has drafted the law in Cyprus regulating international collective investment schemes.

Insurance – Intermediaries

The unit advises on the formation and licensing of insurance companies and, subsequent to licensing, offers advice on a continuous basis.

IT & Intellectual Property

The unit advises on all matters of information technology, and intellectual property law.

The IT unit acts and advises in respect of:

  • e-commerce and EDI;
  • acquisitions and licensing of rights;
  • development of compliance and protection programmes;
  • data protection and privacy;
  • IP & IT due diligence and audits;
  • Broadcasting rights and regulations;
  • internet law

The unit also advises on all areas of intellectual property law including:

  • acquisition and licensing;
  • trade marks and trade names;
  • patents and technology;
  • copyright and design rights;
  • databases;
  • internet and domain names;
  • general IP rights

Media and Entertainment

The unit provides complete and expert advice to all media and entertainment sectors, including television, film, music and production companies.  Some of the Firms clients in this area are international household names.  In addition the unit advises on entertainment and media financing structures.

Private Client

Working closely with the Firm’s many other specialists (including Regulatory & Compliance, Banking & Finance, Litigation & Dispute Resolution and Property), we advise high net worth individuals, as well as financial institutions and professional trustees on a full range of matters, including the following:

  • integrated tax, trusts and estate wealth planning & structuring
  • establishment of structures for family governance and asset holding
  • wills & probate
  • advising on, structuring and documenting investments into various kinds of assets including structured products
  • philanthropy and charitable giving
  • immigration
  • naturalisation
  • real estate (property)
  • family law drafting and administration of various types of trusts

Real Estate & Property

The unit  provides advice to  real estate owners and developers, including investors in land, and assists and advises in the purchase and sale of both commercial and residential property and of other development projects.  The unit drafts all types of sale contracts, multi-party agreements and   agreements  relating to major property developments such as golf courses, shopping malls, hotels and tourist projects.

Re-organisations

The unit advises  on all aspects of re-organisations having a Cyprus element, and whether implemented on a re-organisation, amalgamation, re-construction or de-merger basis.

Sports

The unit provides a wide range of sport related legal services involving all the areas of its practice, including:

  • regulatory advice to sport bodies including disciplinary proceedings;
  • reconstructions, flotation and other schemes;
  • television contracts;
  • sponsorship contracts;
  • merchandising and product licensing;
  • stadium development and general property issues;
  • employment issues (including players contracts);
  • grant and applications for sporting developments;
  • preparation of Club Constitutions and Rules;
  • club licensing;
  • tax advice ;

Taxation

The unit provides specialized tax advice, forms corporate entities and trusts to produce efficient tax structures on a stand alone basis, or in co-operation with international and local tax-advisers, and tax departments of leading accountancy firms

Trusts

The unit provides advice on the uses, creation and administration of trusts, within the context of the provision of estate planning, tax planning and asset protection advice to both corporate and high net worth individuals.  In addition, the unit has been a pioneer in the utilization of trusts, and the drafting of the implementing instruments, for complex corporate structures, including complex corporate governance provisions.  In addition, the unit was engaged in the drafting of the Cyprus International Trusts Law, and of the legislation for the regulation of the provision of trustee services.